Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Northern House Martin (Delichon urbicum) - HBW 9, p. 674

French: Hirondelle de fenêtre German: Mehlschwalbe Spanish: Avión Común
Other common names: House Martin, Common/European/Western House Martin

Taxonomy: Hirundo urbica Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Forms a superspecies with D. dasypus; sometimes considered conspecific, but breeding ranges overlap (e.g. S of L Baikal). Nominate race exhibits largely clinal decrease in size from N to S, but abrupt size reduction in S Europe; birds in WC Europe sometimes separated as race fenestrarum. Race lagopodum and nominate breed parapatrically in Buryatia (S & E of L Baikal); review of taxonomic status of former required. Occasionally hybridizes with Hirundo rustica. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • urbicum (Linnaeus, 1758) - W, C & N Europe E to W Siberia; winters mainly sub-Saharan Africa.
  • meridionale (Hartert, 1910) - S Europe, N Africa and WC Asia (E to Tien Shan and Kashmir); winters Africa and SW Asia.
  • lagopodum (Pallas, 1811) - E Asia from middle and upper R Yenisey, Altai Mts and N Mongolia E to Anadyrland, Sea of Okhotsk and NE China; probably winters mainly SE Asia.